• SmartShare gives students freedom on the internet

SmartShare Gives Students Freedom On The Internet

With an average of about 4500 devices on the network a day, a fast and stable internet is critical for a large educational institution. With SmartShare StraightShaper, Niels Brock has a stable internet, that gives their users quick response, even with an internet that is open for everybody and where everything is accesible.

With approximately 4000 students and 400 teachers working in four different locations, it is crucial that the internet connection is fast and reliable. But particularly Peer-to-peer applications running in the background on the students’ computers, can result in long response times and disruptive interruptions during classes.

“We have chosen here on Niels Brock to give a quick and easy access to the internet for students. This is why we have an open internet. Anybody can log on, and everything on the internet is accessible to everybody. It works really well, but it is naturally also challenging,” CIO Steffen Herskind says smilingly.

“Obviously there are a lot of active users in a school. The students are chatting and texting. They are on Facebook, YouTube, using e-learning and unfortunately, also using BitTorrent programs, which are running in the background on their computers.”

StraightShaper 8000 placed in a serverrack at Niels Brock

We found a SmartShare StraightShaper 8000 behind some of the 800 cables connecting the school’s network. It is the one with the green display.

“Previously, we had a system where we were able to manually block the access to certain websites here at the school, amongst them, the access to various file sharing applications, which reduce speed on the internet significantly. But when we upgraded our connection from a 500 Mbit/s to a 1 Gbit/s it demanded an upgrade of our system that was just too costly, and we had to find an alternative,” says Steffen Herskind.

We found the solution in SmartShare StraightShaper 8000, which allocates bandwidth among the users in a completely different way than traditional solutions, where the user who consumes the most bandwidth, gets the most.

SmartShare allocates bandwidth evenly and dynamically among all the active users on the internet connection, regardless of the amount of data. This gives all users a quick response. File sharing applications are therefore no longer a problem. Furthermore SmartShare is obtainable at a very reasonable price.” Never the less, Niels Brock has chosen to activate a filter in SmartShare to “catch” the students who use file sharing applications.

Students have freedom with responsibility
At Niels Brock it must be easy to connect to the internet, and with SmartShare StraightShaper, the school can allow access to everything without delaying other users. But the management has more at heart.

“We wish to regulate the behaviour of our users, so they become responsible internet users – and continue to be so after finishing their education here with us,” Steffen Herskind explains. “New students are introduced to the school’s it systems and politics. It is also emphasized that even though they have access to everything on the internet, it is not allowed to use file sharing applications on the premises. The students who continue to use BitTorrent and similar applications are caught in our StraightShaper filter, and are exposed to a very slow internet connection.

“Obviously the students find it tiresome that they are not allowed to download movies during schooltime. But after a little talk, they obviously understand that it is not acceptable that their fellow students experience an impaired class, because somebody wants to watch the latest movie on their computers during schooltime.”

”File sharing applications are no longer a problem. And the price for a SmartShare is even very reasonable”

Steffen Herskind, CIO, Niels Brock